Formed in Berkeley, California, USA, in 1965, this imaginative quintet began life as the Instant Action Jug Band. Former folk singer Country Joe McDonald (1 January 1942, El Monte, California, USA) established the band with guitarist Barry Melton (b. 1947, Brooklyn, New York, USA), the only musicians to remain in the line-up throughout its turbulent history. Part of a politically active family, McDonald immersed himself in the activism centred on Berkeley, and his groups earliest recording, I Feel Like Im Fixin To Die Rag (1965), was a virulent attack on the Vietnam war. The following year an expanded line-up, McDonald, Melton, David Cohen (guitar/keyboards), Paul Armstrong (bass) and John Francis Gunning (drums) embraced electricity with a privately pressed EP. By 1967 Armstrong and Gunning had been replaced, respectively, by Bruce Barthol and Gary Chicken Hirsh. This reshaped quintet was responsible for Electric Music For...
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